Victims of medical malpractice who file lawsuits against doctors will often end up dealing with malpractice insurance providers. Unfortunately, these medical malpractice insurers sometimes fail to live up to their obligations. Insurers could offer low settlements and try to deprive Atlanta malpractice victims of compensation they deserve, or could even deny claims which should be paid out. In one recent case, the behavior of the insurers was so egregious the insurance company was ordered to pay plaintiffs $13 million in punitive damages as well as compensation for actual malpractice losses, resulting in a total verdict of more than $14 million. pediatrics-1529152

Victims of malpractice clearly cannot count on insurers to do the right thing and make payments when tremendous losses occur. Victims, however, do have options and can receive significant compensation when juries decide insurers act unfairly after doctors cause harm. An Atlanta birth injury lawyer can provide invaluable legal assistance in cases where medical negligence occurs. Our attorneys can deal with insurers on behalf of patients and can explore all possible legal grounds for maximizing compensation after losses.

Insurer’s Bad Faith Leads to Multi-Million Dollar Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

The Tribune reports the incident arose out of a medical mistake in which a baby was deprived of oxygen. The parents of the baby, who was severely brain damaged due to the oxygen deprivation, sued the hospital, the ER doctors, and the obstetricians. While the hospital and ER doctors’ insurance companies settled, the insurer for the obstetricians did not.

The parents took the case against the obstetricians to trial and were awarded compensation in excess of policy limits. The compensation covered injuries to the mother, as well as the wrongful death of the child, who lived for three years with severe brain damage before finally passing away.

The insurance company paid out to policy limits, but the parents were still owed more than $1 million in additional compensation. Although the parents could have pursued a claim to recover the money from the personal assets of the obstetricians, they instead chose to pursue a claim for bad faith against the insurers.

The parents claimed the insurer was misleading about the extent of insurance coverage available to cover the losses caused by the death, and claimed the insurer had failed to inform the obstetricians about a settlement offer which could have resulted in the case being resolved within policy limits.

The insurance company had a duty to negotiate in good faith with the parents to resolve the case and minimize or avoid financial loss to the doctors, but the insurer failed to do so. Because of this failure, the court found the insurers acted in bad faith and awarded $13 million in punitive damages, as well as ordering the insurer to pay the additional $1.3 million still due to the parents from the initial jury award for their child’s death.

The insurance company has been involved in a total of 25 bad faith claims over the prior 25 years. Their behavior shows the extent to which insurers go to save money- as well as the importance of plaintiffs knowing their rights and aggressively pursuing claims for compensation when medical malpractice occurs.

The Atlanta injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after medical malpractice occurs. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Atlanta nursing homes should be sued whenever the facilities fail their patients through abuse or neglect. Some patients and family members, however, are finding out they are unable to file a claim in civil court even when the actions of nursing homes cause injuries or fatalities. Not only are these patients and family members discovering they are forced to submit claims to binding arbitration instead but, in many cases, they are also learning they have to pay a portion of the fees for the arbitrator’s time.


The federal government recognizes this is a serious problem, depriving patients and their loved ones of justice. The government is considering new regulations to ensure family members who admit patients to nursing home facilities are actually informed of the rights they could be giving up and are protected from being required to give up those rights as a condition of admission. Even as these new regulations are considered, however, 15 attorneys general, 34 U.S. Senators, and more than 50 consumer protection groups are encouraging the government to entirely ban arbitration clauses in nursing home admission agreements.

Patients who are injured or who lose their lives due to neglect or abuse deserve to be fully compensated for damages and losses. Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers can provide invaluable assistance to victims and their loved ones. Whether your case goes to arbitration or to court, or settles before a trial, we can help you to make your claim and maximize the compensation available to you.

Arbitration Agreements Deprive Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Victims of Justice

Arbitration agreements are currently included in admissions papers for many nursing home facilities. Family members, who may be putting loved ones into a nursing home under very difficult circumstances, may not take the time to fully read and understand these agreements.

NPR, for example, reported on one woman whose husband was checked into a nursing home because he had dementia. The man’s dementia was so severe he had forgotten how to drink water. Unfortunately, within just a few weeks of nursing home admission, the man lost 20 pounds and went into a coma due to dehydration because the nursing home did not provide him with proper care. As a result of the neglect he experienced, he died within a month.

When his widow pursued a case, she was forced into arbitration. She ultimately prevailed, but had to pay ½ of the cost of the arbitration, which totaled more than $60,000. By the time she paid this cost and paid for expert witnesses and other expenses associated with making her damage claim, she was left with under $20,000 in compensation for her losses.

People like this widow do not deserve to have their rights trampled on when family members or loved ones are the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect. The new federal regulations being proposed aim to help prevent this by requiring nursing homes to explain arbitration agreements before they are signed. The federal government would also preclude nursing homes from making the signing of arbitration agreements a condition of admission.

While this is a step in the right direction, however, banning the use of such agreements as consumer protection groups suggest would be a better approach to protecting the rights of Atlanta nursing home abuse victims.

The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after neglect or abuse occurs. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Restaurants are supposed to be safe places for patrons to go. Sometimes, however, things go wrong and guests get hurt while they are dining out. Just recently, actress Tori Spelling sustained serious injuries at a restaurant. According to WTOP, Spelling has filed a lawsuit seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages. She claims she suffered a fall due to unsafe property conditions, which caused her to sustain serious burns when her arm hit a hot Hibachi grill.



Incidents like this can happen to anyone, and many victims of slip and falls may wish to pursue claims against the restaurant as Spelling is doing. If you or someone you love got hurt while dining out, while shopping, or when visiting any public location or even private home, you need to understand your rights under Georgia’s premises liability law.

An Atlanta slip and fall accident lawyer can provide legal representation to fall injury victims and can help those who have been hurt to pursue damage claims for compensation.

When Can You Sue a Restaurant for a Slip and Fall?

To successfully sue the restaurant where her burns occurred, Tori Spelling– like other victims of fall injuries– would need to be able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the restaurant had a legal duty to ensure her safety, which the restaurant failed to fulfill.

Restaurants and other establishments that are open to the public do not act as insurers of their patron’s safety. In other words, they are not responsible for every single accident or every single incident where something goes wrong. They do, however, have certain legal duties to avoid the creation of dangerous conditions.

Restaurants should regularly inspect the conditions of their premises in order to determine if there are any safety hazards or risk factors that could lead patrons to fall or to suffer other injuries like burns or damage from debris falling onto them.

Once a restaurant has identified a potential hazard, the restaurant either should take steps to fix the problem or should provide sufficient warning to patrons so they can avoid being harmed by the property conditions. If a restaurant fails to make sure its property is reasonably safe, it can be sued.

Restaurants can only be held responsible for damages that were directly caused by negligence. For Spelling to recover for her burn injuries, she would need to show the injuries were directly caused by unsafe property conditions at the restaurant. Other patrons who fall in restaurants and public spaces may suffer other types of injuries, like spinal cord damage and broke bones. To be compensated for these losses, the victims would also need to show their specific injuries occurred as a direct result of substandard property maintenance.

If victims can make a claim and show the restaurant is liable, they can be compensated for all economic loss and for all non-financial losses including pain caused by injuries. An attorney can provide assistance in gathering evidence to show how a fall happened so victims can be fairly compensated for loss.

The Atlanta injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after an accidental injury. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

The Institute of Medicine released a report entitled “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care,” which contains some troubling statistics on the rates of misdiagnosis in American medicine. Researchers preparing the report lamented the fact that there have been inadequate studies done on misdiagnosis, so there is not enough information to assess the impact of this type of error on patient outcomes. However, even with the limited data that has become available on diagnostic errors, it is clear that misdiagnosis of medical conditions is a major problem within the American medical care system. vac-tube-2-1529631

Misdiagnosis can lead to an Atlanta medical malpractice claim. Patients whose conditions are diagnosed incorrectly could experience delays in treatment as their conditions become worse and sometimes incurable. An inaccurate diagnosis could also cause harm to patients who receive the wrong treatment.

An Atlanta misdiagnosis attorney should be consulted when any mistakes in diagnosis are made that cause a condition to worsen or that result in economic and/or non-financial loss to patients.

Misdiagnosis a Leading Cause of Atlanta Medical Malpractice Claims and Patient Injuries

According to a US News report on the Institute of Medicine research, approximately five percent of adults each year who seek outpatient care will not receive an accurate diagnosis of their medical condition. At least one American out of every 20 who goes to a medical care provider for help is going to receive the wrong diagnosis.

There are many reasons for these diagnostic errors including:

  • Superficial assumptions made when ordering tests: Doctors may be over-reliant on their past experiences and may order tests based on what their past history has told them, rather than based on the specific information provided by the patient. When the wrong test is ordered, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is much more likely to occur.
  • Poorly coordinated care: Doctors, technicians and professionals who work in laboratories are often forced to do many tasks at once and are faced with constant distraction as they attempt to multi-task. This can lead to mistakes in test administration or lab testing procedures.
  • Failure to follow up: Doctors could identify most misdiagnoses early if they followed up with patients on treatment effectiveness. Unfortunately, too many doctors do not follow up appropriately with their patients.
  • Excessive testing: Too many tests have created complications with interpretation and with assessment of which tests are actually effective.
  • Technological issues in the healthcare industry. Electronic medical records and other health IT has been lagging behind other tech innovations, and effective use of electronic records has not yet been achieved on a widespread basis.

Whatever the specific cause of a diagnostic error, it can have deadly consequences. Misdiagnosis plays a role in one out of 10 patient deaths and diagnostic mistakes account for up to 17 percent of hospital adverse events.

Diagnostic errors are also the top cause of medical malpractice claims in which patients are compensated, and represent the largest share of total malpractice payouts. Errors in diagnosis are twice as likely to result in the death of the patient, as compared with other types of medical error.

The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent patients or their families after a misdiagnosis. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

If you are visiting a loved one or a friend in a nursing home and you notice that your relative or other seniors at the facility seem to be suffering from bedsores, this should make you concerned. While seniors who are bedridden or who are confined to a wheelchair are vulnerable to the development of bedsores, preventing these pressure ulcers is often possible with proper care. When bedsores are prevalent, severe, or infected, this is a major red flag suggesting that the nursing home staff may not be doing their job. morning-light-1476841

When you suspect Atlanta nursing home neglect for any reason, you need to get help. You should consider speaking with a nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer to understand what options you may have. The Division of Aging Services in Georgia also takes reports and may conduct an investigation if there is reason to believe a nursing home is failing its patients. Nursing home neglect can have devastating consequences for older individuals and you could protect the elderly, prevent a tragedy, and help your loved one to obtain compensation by coming forward.

Why Do Bedsores Indicate Possible Atlanta Nursing Home Neglect?

As an individual lays confined to a bed or stuck in a wheelchair unable to move, gravity causes the weight of the body to press down into the bed or chair. The skin can become irritated, damaged, and eventually worn away from this constant pressure. Bedsores or pressure ulcers can develop. Seniors tend to have fragile and thin skin, making them especially vulnerable to pressure sores. Bony areas like the buttocks, hips, and ankles have little fat to protect the body, thus bedsores are especially likely to develop in these areas.

While bedsores are sometimes difficult to prevent, there are many ways nursing homes can help to ensure seniors do not develop pressure sores. Moving patients regularly is one of the most important things that can be done, and is a simple thing for nursing home staff to do. If a senior has bedsores, this could be an indicator that staff members are neglecting this basic and important task.

There are other reasons why bedsores can be a possible red flag of nursing home neglect. Bedsores are more likely to develop when a senior is not getting proper nutrients. Insufficient food intake and malnutrition can result in weight loss, and less fat cushioning the body is going to make bedsores more of a problem. Natural and healthy regeneration of skin cells also relies on adequate consumption of calories and nutrition. A neglectful nursing home staff may not make sure seniors get enough food, which exacerbates the chances of a severe bedsore problem.

Incontinence is a problem for seniors as well. Incontinence leaves the skin moist, making bedsores more likely. Bacteria from urine and fecal matter can also cause bedsore infection if a senior is not kept clean.

Whether bedsores happen because staff members don’t move seniors enough, or because they don’t keep them clean and nourished, there is a major problem. You need to determine if any of these nursing home staff behaviors are causing the bedsores. If so, you can and should consider taking legal action for Atlanta nursing home neglect.

The Atlanta nursing home neglect lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent seniors with bedsores due to negligent nursing home staff. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Post-operation complications can happen for many reasons. However, many complications are caused by surgical errors or by inadequate post-procedure follow-up care. Patients should be aware that the majority of complications following common surgical procedures occur among patients who were treated by a small group of care providers. This suggests that there are a small number of doctors who are not doing a very good job and who are causing the bulk of harm to patients. surgery-1482617

If you are one of the patients who experiences post-surgical problems, you need to determine if your health issues are simply bad luck or if you were the victim of a surgical error. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to obtain your medical records after your surgery and can help you to find an independent medical expert to review them. If a problem during your procedure or follow-up care is identified, we can help you to pursue a claim against the doctor, hospital, or other care providers whose actions caused you damage.

Comparing Surgical Rates Among Atlanta Physicians

ProPublica recently issued a warning to patients about the frequency of surgical errors in common procedures, including hip and knee replacements and prostate removal procedures. ProPublica revealed that procedures performed by 11 percent of physicians account for around 25 post of all post-surgical complications.

The data was published as part of ProPublica’s new score card ranking surgeons nationwide. Patients who are considering getting treatment or who have already undergone procedures can put their surgeon’s information or local area into a search tool to find out complication rates for local providers.

There are more than 17,000 surgeons who perform common procedures who are included in ProPublica’s report card. Consumer Reports has indicated that this is the first tool of its kind that provides specific data on surgical errors down to a physician-by-physician level. While there has been some criticism of the research methods used to compile the report card, Consumer Reports still believes the data is very valuable to those who are considering where to get medical treatment or who are facing health problems after surgery and who want to know how their doctor stacks up compared with others.

ProPublica compiled data on post-procedure complications by looking at Medicare billing records. Data was adjusted to account for patient age and overall health status.  The assessment of surgeons performing common surgical procedures took into account how often the procedure was performed by the care provider, as well as how frequently problems developed. The assessments showed that sometimes physicians at large and well respected hospitals had very high error rates. One surgeon at nationally-renowned John’s Hopkins had a rate of complications 10 times higher than colleagues, despite performing the procedure nine times less often than those colleagues. Patients need to realize that just because they get a procedure done at a facility with a good reputation does not mean their particular doctor is a good one.

Patients should strongly consider reviewing data on individual surgeons before they schedule treatment. If you have already undergone surgery, the information provided can still be helpful as you try to figure out whether problems you are experiencing were caused by medical negligence or surgical error. An experienced legal professional can help you to determine the cause of your health issues and can help you to pursue a claim for medical malpractice.

The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent surgeon. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

This past July, a previously-respected doctor specializing in the treatment of cancer was sentenced to 45-years in prison. The physician was given this sentence because of misdiagnosing and mistreating patients. Misdiagnosis is one of the most common errors made by physicians and is a leading cause of medical malpractice claims. In this particular case, the misdiagnosis was criminal, because it was done on purpose to enrich the physician. dental-office-751830-m

Most medical mistakes are negligent, but not necessarily a violation of the law. While no criminal charges are usually filed against a doctor who makes a careless error, victims affected by the doctor’s negligence can move forward with a claim for compensation in a civil lawsuit. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can assist plaintiffs in using the tort laws and civil court system to get their own version of justice by getting the compensation they need for injuries resulting from medical negligence.

Medical Negligence in Atlanta Can Lead to Civil Lawsuits & Sometimes Criminal Cases

Yahoo News reported on the cancer doctor who was sentenced to 45-years imprisonment. His name was Dr. Farid Fata. Fata admitted he had misdiagnosed his patients and subjected them to unnecessary and excessive rounds of chemotherapy. He improperly administered at least 2,000 unnecessary chemotherapy treatments to patients. There were more than 550 victims affected by the doctor’s misdiagnosis and the doctor collected $34.7 million in improper payments.

Fata is 50-years-old and the 45-year sentence will likely mean he will spend the rest of his life in prison. The defense advocated for a 25-year sentence, arguing the doctor would likely die in prison because of his hypertension and his diabetes. The prosecutor, however, requested 175-years maximum for the doctor because of his egregious fraud.

Many of the patients, unfortunately, will also face lifelong consequences because of the actions of the doctor. Some of his patients were able to speak in court and reported the doctor’s misdiagnosis had left them with unrelenting muscle and joint weakness, chronic pain throughout the body, missing teeth, and other lasting health consequences.

Some of the patients he treated died because of the “care” he provided. Many never had cancer at all, while others had cancer but received excessive chemotherapy treatments they did not need. The chemotherapy has a detrimental impact on the body because it is not discriminatory in the cells it kills. Healthy cells can die from exposure to the chemotherapy and it should be administered sparingly, and only when necessary.

The patients who received the chemotherapy they did not need described themselves as being “tortured” for no reason as a result of the doctor’s actions. While the doctor was not actually charged with a crime for the malpractice, he pled guilty to 13-counts of health care fraud as well as two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks. Pursuing him on these charges allowed prosecutors to get justice without needing to add criminal indictments for crimes that may have been more difficult to prove.

The case was an egregious example of a doctor misdiagnosing patients on purpose, but accidental misdiagnosis happens every day. Patients should seek a second opinion when diagnosed with a serious condition to try to avoid being harmed by a doctor’s error. If patients are misdiagnosed and treatment is delayed or unnecessary treatment is provided, patients deserve to be compensated for resulting losses.

The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a misdiagnosis. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Slip and falls can happen anywhere. From a broken railing or damaged step at a friend’s house to a slippery floor in a public restroom or store, there are a great many conditions that can cause you to take a tumble. If you do fall down, you could sustain serious injuries including damage to the spine or traumatic brain injury. danger-slippery-surface-1499107

Property owners are responsible for making sure they do not create conditions that exacerbate the risk of a fall or that cause a fall to occur. If you are hurt on someone’s property (whether it is a friend’s home or a store or other public or private place), you need to know what your rights are. A personal injury lawyer in Atlanta can help you to understand how to pursue a case for compensation after a fall so you can recover monetary damages for your losses.

Is it Possible to Prevent Fall Injuries?

The only way to prevent an injury in a fall is to prevent the fall from happening in the first place. reported the majority of people think they will be able to catch themselves in a fall. This misconception may come from movies where people are able to stop themselves from tumbling even off of ladders and high buildings.

The reality is, whether you fall from a ladder or trip over debris in a store aisle or stumble on a broken tile, you usually are not going to be able to stop yourself from falling and you are not going to be able to do much to protect yourself on the way down. The average person’s reaction time is half of a second, in by the time that half-second passes, a person can fall four feet.

As you start to fall, gravity pulls you down and the speed at which you tumble to the ground increases quickly. The result is once you start falling, your impact force increases and you will be able to stop only when you strike a lower surface. This lower surface is the ground or an object below you, which is often hard and which often causes you to be badly hurt. A person who weighs around 200 pounds and who falls six feet will hit the ground with around 10,000 pounds of force, so it is easy to see why serious injuries happen in a fall.

Although there is little you can do to stop yourself from falling, WikiHow still has some basic tips you could try to employ if you are able to react fast enough. For example, while your instinct may be to try to catch yourself, you should instead relax your body and let yourself go to the ground as gently as possible.

You should also avoid sticking your hands out when you are falling because your hands do not have the strength to hold up the body. If you land with your hands facing out, you are likely to do serious damage to your fingers, wrist, arms and shoulders.

These tips could perhaps help to mitigate some of the most serious injuries, but most people simply do not react quickly enough to follow them. Instead, it is best to prevent the fall in the first place- and property owners can do this by making sure their land and buildings are safe.

The Atlanta accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after a slip and fall injury. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

A product is recalled when it is determined it presents an unacceptable risk to public safety.  In far too many situations, the product is recalled after someone gets hurt by its use.  When this occurs, an Atlanta defective product lawyer should be consulted by victims who need assistance pursuing a claim for compensation.  Taking legal action in the case of a defective product can allow victims to be fully compensated for all losses arising from the product defect. Because of special strict liability rules applicable when products malfunction and cause harm, a plaintiff in a defective product case should be compensated for damages regardless of whether the product manufacturer was negligent or not. last-hope-1-357957-m

A plaintiff must prove a problem with the product occurred in order to be able to successfully make a product liability case.  Evidence may include expert testimony and studies showing problems with the product. A recall may sometimes be used as evidence in a product liability claim, although recalls do not automatically make manufacturers liable even when presented as evidence.  Recalls can alert consumers to the fact that a product they were using harmed them, so the consumer can stop using the product and can move forward with exploring the possibility of legal action.

What are the Different Types of Product Recalls?

There are three major types of product recalls and Life Hacker provided a summary of what each of those different recall types are.

The three major types of recalls include:

  • Recalls of food products and drug recalls.  Both the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can become involved in the enforcement of recalls for the majority of products people ingest (although the USDA and FDA do not have authority over alcohol and shellfish recalls).  There are three classes of food and drug recalls. Class I recalls are reserved for the most dangerous and defective of products that can cause serious harm.  Class II recalls are used when products are dangerous but cause harm that is medically treatable or temporary.  Finally, Class III recalls are for products with misleading packaging or that violate a legal regulation but that do not necessarily cause serious harm.
  • Recalls of vehicles or vehicle parts.  These types of recalls are enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA becomes involved in two different types of recalls. They become involved when there are a large number of consumer complaints on a similar issue and they become involved when a defective car or its parts causes serious safety risks.
  • Other recalls. Finally, the last broad category of recalls applies to virtually all other products that do not fit into the above two categories.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission oversees these general recalls of other products. The recalls are initiated either because a manufacturer reaches out to CPSC when it identifies a problem or because there are a large number of consumer complaints.

Consumers should regularly check for recalls to determine if any products they are using could present a health risk. When a product does cause damage to an individual, the victim should reach out to an experienced attorney.

The Atlanta product defect lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a dangerous product. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

Researchers from the University of South Carolina have published an in-depth report about how better training of certified nurses assistants (CNAs) could make a significant impact on reducing nursing home abuse and neglect.  CNAs provide the vast majority of daily care that seniors living in residential care settings receive. CNAs provide assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, and doing other routine daily tasks.  Despite the important role CNAs play in a senior’s life, they are often paid very little, have few career opportunities for advancement, and have minimal training.  Most have only a high-school diploma and have completed approximately 75-hours of additional training required for certification.  grandmother-809535-m

When a CNA is neglectful or abusive to a senior in a nursing facility, the victim of the abuse or his or her family members may take legal action against the nursing home employing the nursing assistant. An Atlanta nursing home neglect lawyer can provide assistance in pursuing a damage claim. Nursing homes can be held responsible for negligent actions of their workers, so it is in the best interest of residential care facilities to ensure CNAs receive adequate training.

Proper CNA Training Can Reduce Risks of Atlanta Nursing Home Neglect

The University of South Carolina researchers conducted interviews with staff members in nursing facilities, as well as with senior safety advocates, policy makers, and other professionals within the elder care industry. Based upon in-depth interviews, several key areas of training were identified where CNAs need to develop core competencies.

One of the most important aspects of training for certified nursing assistants should involve helping CNAs to develop a comprehensive definition of abuse and neglect. Some behaviors like hitting a senior are obviously defined as abuse. However, some CNAs may not even be aware when actions have crossed the line into neglect. Things like not taking the time to feed a senior and instead using a nutrition shake can have an adverse impact on patient health and quality of life. Refusal to respond to a call button or not checking on residents frequently enough can also be classified as neglect that has a harmful impact on patient health.

CNAs also need to be trained in federal and state requirements for documenting abuse, neglect, resident complaints, and resident mistreatment. While most are provided with some basic information, many CNAs do not have a full understanding of when and how to document problems and report possible abuse and neglect. Every staff member has a role to play in keeping seniors safe and reducing the chances of serious problems occurring in a home care setting.

Finally, CNAs need to be provided with training in how to identify and respond to workplace conditions and factors that can increase the chance a senior will be affected by substandard or neglectful care. Understaffing is one major issue in senior care homes that can lead to resident injuries due to abuse and neglect. CNAs need to be mindful of conditions that trigger problems and need to know how to deal with these suboptimal circumstances.

By 2050, more than six million seniors will be living in nursing care facilities and CNAs will be caring for them. Proper training is essential to protect this vast population of vulnerable seniors from injuries caused by neglect and abuse.

The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent nursing home. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.